Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Major Retrogression in the EB-2/India Immigrant Visa Category Expected in the Fall of 2014

From ogletreedeakins.com, 09/15/2014

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority dates that regulate when an individual may begin the final phase of the “green card” process, either through adjustment of status or consular processing of an immigrant visa application. Those with a priority date that is earlier than the date listed for that visa category and country can proceed with their application.
Last week, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the DOS’s Visa Control and Reporting Division, announced that due to the high volume of pending employment-based second preference EB-2/India petitions, effective immediately, the EB-2/India preference category will be "unavailable" through the end of the current federal fiscal year ending on September 30, 2014.
At the same time, Oppenheim indicated that visa numbers for EB-2/India should be available as of October 1, 2014, at the start of the new federal fiscal year. However, most importantly, visa retrogression for the EB-2 India category is possible as early as November 2014. Thus, it is likely that there will be a narrow window of time for current EB-2/India-based adjustment of status (AOS) applications to be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) this fall.
September 2014
USCIS will continue to accept EB-2 India AOS filings with a current priority date. However, since the EB-2 India category has been made “unavailable” and visa numbers are no longer available in this category for September, USCIS may not act on cases until October.
October 2014
The October 2014 Visa Bulletin lists the EB-2/India category with a cutoff date of May 1, 2009. EB-2/India-based AOS applications with a priority date prior to May 1, 2009 should be accepted by USCIS during October.
November 2014 and Beyond
Given the demand in this category, DOS predicts the priority date for EB-2/India will likely retrogress from May 1, 2009 to early 2005, which may occur as soon as November 2014.
A significant percentage of EB-3 to EB-2 upgrades by Indian nationals is cited as a major factor with respect to the predicted retrogression, and DOS expects a large volume of such filings in the coming months. Therefore, EB-2/India applicants with priority dates prior to May 1, 2009, should file their AOS applications before the end of October 2014. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

CBP Releases Mobile Application, Allowing Some Travelers to Bypass Customs Line

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released a mobile application called “Mobile Passport” that allows frequent traveler to bypass customs lines.  The app is currently available for iPhones and will soon be available for Android devices.

The app is currently available for use in Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

To use the app, users will need to download the app, enter passport information, answer a few questions and submit the answers to CBP.  Once approved, users will be able to use designated “mobile passport control” lines to skip general customs lines.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

October 2014 Visa Bulletin

From Fragomen.com, 09/09/2014

EB-3 China and Worldwide Advance; Upcoming EB-2 India Retrogression Likely

According to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers for China will advance by five months, to April 1, 2009. EB-3 will advance one week, to November 15, 2003, for India, and by six months for all other countries, to October 1, 2011. 

EB-2 China will advance by five weeks, to November 15, 2009. EB-2 India will remain at May 1, 2009 in October, but the State Department warns that retrogression for the category is likely and could occur as early as November due to increased demand. 

October 2014 Priority Date Cut-Offs 

In October 2014, EB immigrant visa priority date cut-offs will be: 

EB-1 Current for all countries. 

EB-2 China: November 15, 2009 
India: May 1, 2009 
All other countries: Current 

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers 
China: April 1, 2009 
India: November 15, 2003 
Philippines: October 1, 2011 
All other countries: October 1, 2011 

EB-3 Other Workers 
China: July 22, 2005 
India: November 15, 2003 
Philippines: October 1, 2011 
All other countries: October 1, 2011 

EB-5 Current for all countries and subcategories.